Textual Analysis: Deal or No Deal

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Textual Analysis: Deal or No Deal

By | April 2013
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TV and Fictions: Viewing Log

Deal or No Deal

Airtime: Thursday 21st February 2013 (4pm)

My scene is from ‘Deal or No Deal’ (Channel 4, 2013) [1], a game show where the contestant has the chance to win a maximum of £250,000. I will be analysing the opening five minutes of the programme. In this small scene the following themes are explored; class, community and rituals. From the book ‘Come on Down? Popular media culture in post-war Britain’, it is said that game shows ‘have always had a very low cultural status’ (Whannel, G, 1992) [2].

As the show begins the camera instantly zooms in on ‘Noel Edmonds’, and the contestants are blacked out signalling that Noel is the host. This is common of game shows, and perhaps suggesting that he is more important than the contestants. The mise-en-scene shows Noel positioned in the centre of the room with the contestants arranged around facing him. This setting and its connotations could be seen as ‘church like’, with Noel representing the ‘priest’ and the audience represent the ‘church goers’.

The opening credit scene follows the typical game show theme. Upbeat music is played throughout, with images of winning contestants, which gives a positive feel. Confetti is seen as well which connotes ‘celebration’.

After the opening credits scene, the camera pans the audience who are applauding. Showing the audience is a common trait in game show and is important as ‘their ‘liveness’ or ‘nowness’ is crucial to their appeal for it positions the viewer as the equal of the characters in the narrative’ (Fiske, J, 1987) [4]. The camera then focuses on Noel who walks down the centre into the middle of the room to which he calls the audience ‘pilgrims’; another biblical reference.

Noel then begins to recall on the last episodes experience. This is a ritual that creates continuity and familiarity that is stereotypical of game shows. This could maybe be a method used to reinforce the ‘community’ atmosphere as...
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